Tradition is not something that happens overnight. When Charles-Yvan Robert founded a watch workshop in the Saint-Imier valley of Switzerland in 1858, the Minerva era was born. The in-house movement for Montblanc, Minerva became known throughout the years for its innovative power and highly developed time measurement technology.
To celebrate those 160 years of watchmaking tradition, Montblanc has put together the 1858 Collection that it is a reinterpretation of the Minerva pocket watches and chronographs from the 1920s and 1930s that were purposed for mountaineers and the military. Boasting high accuracy, legibility and robustness for use in extreme conditions, the 1858 Collection finds its inspiration from the world of exploration.
Featuring a wide array of timepieces that utilize Minerva’s innovative power and highly developed time measurement technology, the 1858 Collection is a superb homage to the legacy of the European watchmaker’s prowess.
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
The anchor of the 1858 Collection is certainly the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere. It is an ode to the heroes of mountain climbing in every sense. Owning a manufacture world-time complication developed by the Montblanc watchmakers, the dial displays two domed hemispheres, turning in opposite directions, that complete a full rotation in 24 hours. On those globes are red dots, signifying the legendary Seven Summits of the World that have mesmerized and challenged explorers for decades. Paired with the calfskin bund strap, it breaks the mold of world timers giving frequent travelers an outdoors-inspired watch they can strap on their wrist.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph
The spirit of the Minerva tradition shines through impeccably with the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph. Combining aesthetics with precise chronographic functions, it is the first piece in the collection to have bi-pushers to activate the chronograph. The stainless steel 42mm case juxtaposes well with the black dial, which provides a backdrop for the bi-compass counter positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock (reminiscent of Minerva’s historic chronographs). While the stainless steel case also comes available housed on a NATO strap, we like the calfskin strap shown here as a sleeker option.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic
Featuring all the distinctive design elements of the 1858 Collection while introducing a smaller case size, the Montblanc 1858 Automatic is the entry point of the series. With its clean and high readability, the vintage-inspired dial is especially reminiscent of the Minerva heritage. This look is enhanced with a bronze bezel and fluted crown to accent the 40mm stainless steel case.
It also features two new interpretations of the historical Minerva timepieces: one with a smoked champagne-colored dial and beige luminescent Arabic numerals and one with a black dial and beige luminescent Arabic numerals. The smoked champagne-colored dial comes adorned on a calfskin strap while the black dial is available in both the calfskin strap and a black NATO strap (shown here). The results are traditional yet adventurous.